The Pittsburgh Penguins (22-19-3) end their bye week today against the burgeoning Detroit Red Wings (17-17-7).
The Penguins playoff picture is still muddled, evidenced by the number of teams immediately trailing the Penguins which also have multiple games in hand, such as Detroit. The Penguins will need wins, and a lot more of them to solidify a playoff position.
Penguins goaltender Matt Murray is not with the team. He did not report yesterday because of a personal matter. Tristan Jarry (7-3-2) will man the pipes for the Penguins. Jarry has a 2.46 GAA, and .919 save percentage.
Jarry has played well, except for the final game before the bye week. The Boston Bruins blitzed Jarry for five goals in just over 35 minutes. Murray finished the game and earned a 6-save win.
figures to will start for the Red Wings, as Petr Mrazek has struggled this season. Howard is 14-12-6 with a 2.64 GAA and .916 save percentage.
Update 12:36pm: Ian Cole is a healthy scratch.
Lined up and ready for Detroit. pic.twitter.com/fMyjdvduNV
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) January 13, 2018
Scouts in Attendance
Three scouts are in attendance. Former Penguins coach Rick Kehoe, who is based in Pittsburgh is here (and is often here). The Chicago Blackhawks have a scout in attendance, but the interesting team here are the Buffalo Sabres.
The Red Wings play the Blackhawks tomorrow, so consider that a likely advance-scouting mission.
The Sabres, however, do not appear on either team’s schedule in the near future.
The Sabres could be in a more generous mood after Evander Kane’s skirmish at practice this week. Ordinarily, such an incident would escape report except for Sabres defenseman Justin Falk loudly barked at Kane, “You’re selfish!”
Kane has long been dogged by negative press or reputation, even when not warranted. A teammate yelling what is tantamount to a level 10 insult in the hockey world could mean Kane’s time with the Sabres is coming to an end. He leads the Sabres in scoring but is a UFA after this season.